William Shakespeare famously wrote that “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” That might be true in the case of a rose, but not so true when it comes to naming cars. The names of vehicles can be truly perplexing at times. Sure, the Mustang is a fast, powerful horse. It fits perfectly with a fast, powerful muscle car. However, lots of other models just don’t work nearly as well. 60 Minutes once devoted an entire segment to examining the weird names that car companies give to their vehicles. Over the years, there have been some truly ridiculous monikers. Here’s a list of ten of the worst names in automotive history – so far. We’re sure there will be more in the coming years.
10. Kia Pro_cee’d
Never mind that this isn’t even proper English. Who the heck at Kia thought to name a car “Proceed” and then spell it “pro_cee’d?” Why the apostrophe before the “d” at the end? Would spelling the word “Proceed” properly be too obvious? How exactly does this name really fit the vehicle it is attached to?
The Kia Pro_cee’d, after all, is a compact GT model that is kind of a Subaru knock-off. It’s a small, sporty car with torque and off-road capability. The “pro” version was technically a more sporty version of the Kia Cee’d (also a terrible name). Sold exclusively in Europe, Kia eventually dropped the apostrophe from the name and insisted that “CEED” stands for “Community of Europe, with European Design.” Sure. Whatever you say, Kia.
9. Isuzu Mysterious Utility Wizard
This sounds more like an early 1970s rock band than an SUV. Why not just call it the Isuzu Magical Mystery Tour? What’s even mysterious about this SUV? It looks like every other SUV on the road today. Additionally, why use the word “wizard”? If they really needed to go with that, they should have just called it the Isuzu Wizard. Simple.
The branding “wizard” seems to be the one most preferred, since they emblazoned it on the side of the vehicle. Why not, right? Hasn’t everyone wanted to cruise around town in an SUV that has the word “wizard” scrawled across the sides in giant type? Makes us wonder if the marketing team at Isuzu have been smoking something.
8. Honda That’s
That’s… what? Incredible? Impressive? Miraculous? We’ll never know, because the good people at Honda left the title of this weird, boxy-looking family car as simply “That’s.” It’s almost like they wanted people to fill in the rest for them. Like “That’s the car I want!” Or “That’s the worst name I’ve ever heard.”
The name of this car is as weird as the vehicle attached to it. This is definitely one of the strangest cars, and names, we’ve seen come out of Japan. Of course, this is the land that gave the world drunken Karaoke and some pretty bizarre anime movies. So we suppose anything is possible from the Japanese.
7. Peugeot Bipper Tepee Outdoor
Who named this SUV/Minivan crossover? George Lucas? Why not call it “R2D2” or “BB-8”? What’s with using the word “tepee”? Aren’t Native American groups going to take issue with a French car company like Peugeot co-opting a native term?
We know that Peugeot wanted to advertise this vehicle as a great choice for people who like the outdoors. However, the “Bipper Tepee” is just… well, terrible. What exactly is a “Bipper”, anyway? Judging by reviews and sales numbers, this atrocity should have just been named the “Boring Vehicle That Will Cost Peugeot a Bunch of Money.”
6. Toyota Estima Lucida G Luxury Joyful Canopy
Just go ahead and fire the marketing person who came up with this name. Then fire the hapless exec who approved it. Again, we know the Japanese have some quirks. They like to name things with colorful words such as “joyful” and “luck.” But could this name have been any longer? Yikes.
Simplifying the name of this vehicle to the Toyota Estima would have been a lot better. This name is so long. Who in their right mind would ever say the whole thing more than once? If ever a vehicle required a nickname, it’s this minivan. Think of the poor kids whose families own one of these things? They’d have to take a deep breath and concentrate just to get the name out in one go. Sheesh!
5. Tang Hua Detroit Fish
Another head-scratcher, the Tang Hua Detroit Fish is an amphibious car from China. Apparently, the engineers behind this eye sore decided to throw “Detroit” into the name since they debuted this concept car at the 2008 Detroit Auto Show. The “Fish” obviously reflects the fact you can drive this car in water as well as on land.
To be fair, this name makes more sense than a lot of the other names on this list, despite being very odd. The weird name matches the seriously weird design of this car. It looks like a giant yellow bath toy. A rubber ducky on wheels, perhaps.
4. Mazda Titan Dump
Say what? This is a name that definitely turns heads when people hear it, but not for good reasons. Naturally, the Titan Dump is actually a dump truck. However, calling any vehicle a “Titan Dump” is never a good idea. Surely there were some heated discussions at Mazda about this name and its, er, implications. Right?
Apparently not. The name “Titan Dump” is definitely memorable and bound to get attention. If you need a dump truck, you want one that is as powerful as a Titan. So we suppose that this name kind of works, even with “dump” more commonly used to describe a crappy, run-down place or thing. In the right context, Titan Dump is a mighty construction-themed beast. Mazda has had some other unusual vehicle names over the years. Most notably are the “Carol Me Lady,” the “Bongo Friendee,” and the “Scrum Wagon.” Really? Scrum Wagon?
3. Mitsubishi Lettuce
This is a weird name for an equally weird looking car. After all, what about this car says “lettuce”? Were the folks at Mitsubishi at a salad bar when they named this thing? To be sure, there are not many cars named after produce. In that regard, the Mitsubishi Lettuce stands out from the crowd.
Of course, this is not a cool name at all. Nor is it a cool car. I mean, who wants to tell their date they drive a “Lettuce?” You would never see James Bond driving around in a Mitsubishi Lettuce. It wouldn’t matter how tricked out the car was with gadgets and futuristic spy stuff. It just wouldn’t happen. The name alone would kill it for 007.
2. Geely Rural Nanny
Leave it to the Australians to give a bizarre half car/half truck hybrid vehicle a strange name such as the Geely Rural Nanny. Then they turned around and marketed to the Chinese. Maybe potential buyers in China actually enjoyed the name? Regardless, this is a really bad name for a car. Who the hell wants to drive a rural nanny?
It sounds like the name of something your grandmother drives to the grocery store on Sunday. You know the stereotype – rolling down the road at 15 mph, logging the passing lane, and generally unaware of anything happening around her. This is a bad name for a bad looking car. Hopefully the manufacturers buried it somewhere out in the vastness of rural China, where their customers probably don’t understand the English meanings.
1. Nissan Homy Super Long
You could certainly fit a lot of your homies in this really long van, manufactured by Nissan. This extended vehicle is definitely “super long,” so at least part of the name makes sense. Despite being weird looking, you could probably use it to haul your softball team around to tournaments. This name is more of a descriptor than anything else. It’s a van. It’s super long. And it is pretty homey inside. Enjoy!
You would think for the money automotive executives and marketers are paid, they could have come up with a name that is a bit more creative and exciting. Like the “Nissan Bus,” or the “Nissan Torpedo.” Literally anything than the “Homy Super Long” would have been an upgrade. This name is so bad it defies logic. Still, if you’re in the market for a super long van, head to your local Nissan dealership.